China's parliament on Sunday elected Ding Xuexiang, who is ranked No. 6 in the ruling Communist Party's apex of power, as executive vice premier and reappointed Yi Gang, a U.S.-educated economist, as chief of the central bank.

Ding Xuexiang takes oath after being elected executive vice premier at a plenary session of China's parliament in Beijing on March 12, 2023. (Kyodo)

Ding, 60, who has worked as a chief of staff for leader Xi Jinping, was promoted last October to the party's seven-strong Politburo Standing Committee despite his lack of experience in central government or as a regional party boss.

He was endorsed with three other vice premiers -- He Lifeng, Zhang Guoqing and Liu Guozhong -- during a session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The three are members of the party's 24-member Politburo.

Foreign Minister Qin Gang, a former Chinese ambassador to the United States who assumed the ministerial post late last year, was promoted to state councilor, while Gen. Li Shangfu, a member of the party's Central Military Commission, was appointed as defense minister as well as state councilor.

The commission headed by Xi oversees the People's Liberation Army.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (C, front) prepares to attend a plenary session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 12, 2023. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Zheng Shanjie was chosen as head of the National Development and Reform Commission, which is in charge of steering macroeconomic policy.

The appointments at the parliament session were based on nominations by Premier Li Qiang, who was picked as head of the State Council, or China's Cabinet, on Saturday.

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